Most woodworking projects cannot be completed without glue in reinforcing the attachment of bonded materials or holding pieces of wood together permanently. However, without applying certain techniques, the glue dries up quickly before the assembly is finished. Instead of finishing on time, the project takes a long time to accomplish or produces a messed-up product. To avoid these stressful results, let us look at some of the ideal clamping solutions to common problems of glue-based woodworking projects.
Top Glue Up Clamps for Woodworking
3/4" Wood Gluing Pipe Clamp
This clamp is made out of cast iron, which makes it durable and holds the wood tightly. It is specifically designed to clamp wooden pieces with a thickness of ¾ inch. Professional woodworkers use this for projects, including cabinetry and wooden crates. It comes in a set with 6 pieces of ¾” wood gluing pipe clamp in a red cast with a heavy screw. It has a disc clutch that provides high clamping pressure and quick release.
3" Metal Face Clamp Woodworking
It comes in a pair of 3-inch C Clamps and a jaw capacity of 76mm. These two clamps are made from high-quality heat-treated steel with easy-grip handles for comfort along with an adjustment knob. Each clamp is 10 inches in length and 4 inches in width. The pad surface can easily hold any material with one pad measuring 1.8 inches and the other pad at 1.5 inches. These Sandor Face Clamps are best to use with cabinetry, DIY repairs, pocket-screw joinery, and other woodworking projects.
Bessey KR3.550 REVO Parallel Clamps
A woodworker can never go wrong with the Bessey KR3.550 REVO Parallel Clamps as it has a clamping force of 1,500 pounds. It comes with a 3-3/4 inch throat depth along with three removable jaw pads and two ergonomic soft-grip handles. The parallel jaw design makes it easier for clamping objects in a 90° position. Another great thing about this clamp is that it can be attached to work surfaces via TK-6 clamps. It also comes with two rail protector pads to avoid touching the rail surface but can be easily removed if no longer in use.
Bora 40" Parallel Clamp
It is quite versatile as it comes in five different rail lengths such as 12”, 24”, 31”, 40”, and 50”. There is a 3.5-inch padded jaw that can easily clamp any object without damaging the material. When winding the clamp down with its clamping pressure of 1,100 pounds, the jaw stays in place and does not twist. The jaw was designed to slide up and down easily with just a simple lift of the handle and has an anti-slip material at the bottom of the jaw to ensure stability.
The current design and mechanism were based on the end-user feedback given by its loyal users. Today, woodworkers have never had precision clamping this easy and convenient. It boasts of rock-solid stability that will result in a perfectly glued woodworking project.
IRWIN Tools Parallel Jaw Box Clamp
This parallel jaw box clamp from Irwin has a clamping force of up to 1,150 pounds, which is perfect for heavy projects. It boasts of a 90° precise angle and a 3-3/4 inch jaw depth for the ultimate pressure locking system that eliminates the possibility of the object slipping between the jaws of the clamp. Workshops and jobsites would have them in their list of powerful clamping tools. The resin material in the jaws prevents it from leaving any stain or mark due to the long clamping process. The hand will not be strained, for it has a contoured ergonomic grip.
Jorgensen Cabinet Master 24-inch 90° Parallel Jaw Bar Clamp
It has the standard 90° clamping position that can be attached to work surfaces if there is a need for it. It provides a 3-3/4 inch jaw depth pressure distribution with a strong locking mechanism that will not allow the jaws from slipping away. However, the jaws are not parallel when they are opened up, but it becomes parallel when they are tightened up as it has a preset with an inclination of +/-0.5°.
Due to its durability and precise clamping mechanism, it is one of the most popular and comes with a higher price tag compared to others. If you have the money to spare, then add this tool in your workshop.
PONY 50 Pipe Clamp
This pipe clamp made of ductile cast iron is perfect for any ¾ inch pipe. It is easy to use for many woodworking gluing projects as well as metalworking. Assembling is quite simple, and no other tool is needed. Just screw the head assembly into the pipe threads on one end. Next, slip the tail-stop on the other end, followed by the coil-spring stop to prevent the tail-stop from slipping off the pipe. The multiple-disc-clutch mechanism is responsible for securely holding any object at any point along the length of the pipe.
These PONY Clamp Fixtures can be used in any pipe length as long as they are ¾-inch thick and must be at least 7” longer than the objects to be clamped. The screws are made of 5/8 inch diameter steel with Acme threads, which are durable enough to avoid wear and tear. The four-piece multiple disc clutches are made of plated hardened steel so it can be used repeatedly without worrying that it will break easily. It is one of the most widely used pipe clamp fixtures in America since it was established in 1903.
Factors to Consider When Buying A Suitable Glue-up Clamps For Your Project
With a plethora of choices available, it is always smart to know your options well. Don’t just rely on the brand as it may not be suitable for what your clamping/gluing project requires.
It may not be a big deal for some people but having a soft grip on the handle makes a huge difference when you need to change positions. Less resistance would help in making a precise positioning of the clamp to the wood. The faster release would eliminate the chances of moving the wood pieces. Look for contoured handles so it would be easier on your hands.
While the jaw design of the clamping set should be flexible, it should also be strong enough to handle the pressure of holding the pieces tightly. Check the jaw design to see if it bends easily so that you can avoid them as it will be prone to breaking.
The choice will depend on what you need them for as each material type has corresponding advantages and disadvantages. There are three popular materials used in making clamps: plastic, aluminum, and steel. Aluminum guarantees durability but are expensive. Plastic is much more affordable but cannot be used for heavy materials. Steel is better than plastic and more affordable than aluminum.
Look for clamps with soft rubbery pads attached on its ends or beneath the foot. It would prevent any slip-ups when clamping for a long time.
User Guide: Clamping Tips and Techniques for Glue Ups
The go-to tool of professional woodworkers for glue-ups is the clamp. It does not matter if the project is big or small; the clamp provides a great way to securely hold the wood pieces together, making it easier to cut and assemble.
Know the Right Clamp for Your Project
Several types of woodworking clamps are available in the market today, but not all of them are suitable for your project. Familiarize yourself with bar clamps, H-clamp, quick-release clamp, ratchet clamp, pipe clamps, and many other options.
Prevent Clamp Marks & Wood Damages
If you’re not careful, you will damage the wood during the long clamp up period. You can avoid them by using felt chair glides that are self-adhesive for easy installation. If they are not available, use milk caps or any soft plastic caps and just dab a small amount of hot glue to make it stick to the clamp. You can also use wax paper to avoid stains and prevents marking too.
Try Using Band Clamps on Odd-shaped Objects
Steel hose clamps are best used in holding several odd-shaped objects. These clamps can be linked together, and there is no need to worry if the glue touches it since it can easily be removed from the clamp.
Use Clothespin Clamps for Small Objects or Tiny Details
Sometimes even the smallest commercial clamps are still not suitable for small objects, especially with tiny details such as miniature projects, so consider using clothespin wooden clamps instead. You can even modify the shape to your liking if there is a need for it.
Pipe Clamps & Bar Clamps for Panel Glue-Ups
For larger panels, it is best to use the pipe clamps, but for smaller and thinner ones, you can use bar clamps.
Clamping Cauls for Bonding Multiple Boards at a Time to Avoid Bowing
This technique takes a little bit of patience and experience to be able to perfect it. When squeezing panels together using pipe clamps, it is common to find them slipping out of alignment. Using cauls together with the bar clamps can flatten those boards without the danger of bowing. Go back and forth in tightening the pipe clamps as well as the cauls with the bar clamps until you find the most effective setting.